LARICS was featured in Treći element, a popular science talk show on March 2nd. In a 45-minute show, hosts of the show were joined by our professors Stjepan Bogdan and Zdenko Kovačić in the studio where they gave insights on some of the most burning questions general population might have about robotics. The show also incorporated the footage from the robotics laboratories at FER (LARICS, LABUST, LAMOR) where researchers demonstrated and elaborated on their work.
Project MORUS 2nd Workshop and General Assembly were held at FER from 06.02. to 10.02.2017. All partners participated in preparation and execution of the workshop. The goal of MORUS project 2nd workshop was twofold: first, UAV roll and pitch control loops, implementing a moving mass concept, were tested, together with low-level state machine; and second, integration of the Human Machine Interface with high-level state machine and overall system communication have been done. Upon successful integration of hardware, software and communication components of MORUS system, major functionalities have been tested through the HMI. Gazebo simulator was used as virtual world where UUV and UAV models executed missions by mimicking inputs from real vehicles, while in the same time high level controllers on real vehicles received positions from the simulator.
On May 23rd, Jutarnji list, one of the most prominent Croatian newspapers published an article about the subCULTron project. Featured on the front page, it encompasses an 242extensive interview with our own Prof. Stjepan Bogdan and Asst. Prof. Nikola Mišković from the Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies, LABUST. The article provided a great visibility to the project and yielded many positive reactions. Other LARICS members working on the subCULTron project are Tamara Petrović, Goran Vasiljević and Barbara Arbanas.
One of the key components in the interaction of NAO robots and children is a vocal communication. In the protocol for diagnostics of autism adapted for NAO robots, the tasks like Call by name require vocal communication in Croatian language. NAO robots speak French and English very fine, but they do not speak Croatian. Here comes the reason why Prof. Kovacic, Dr. Damjan Miklic and Frano Petric gladly accepted an invitation to visit the laboratories of the Technical Faculty in Novi Sad and the company Alfanum, a regional leader in speech communication technologies. Thanks to the agreement to start the collaboration between two parties, our NAO robots now speak Croatian very well and we are going to teach them to understand some Croatian vocabulary that is most often used by small children. We would like to thank Prof. Vlado Delic and Darko Pekar from Alfanum for their full openness and warm welcome.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Goran Vasiljevic and Edin Koco participated in the kick-off meeting of the new LARICS project ADELE organized in the Ford Research Centre in Aaachen. This was the opportunity to introduce our side better and to discuss with our partners from Ford first steps to be taken in the project. Being primarily focused on the LNT (Lean NOx Trap) models, the task of the project is to establish methods and algorithms for optimal transfer of the measured data into the existing models using the evolutionary learning methods. Aachen is a very attractive place to be with the famous Aachen cathedral (Dom), built by Charlemagne in the 8th century, being for centuries the coronation church of more than 30 German kings.
Job Fair is the event organized by FER seen in the eyes of students as a unique opportunity for them to meet potential future employers. This year FER was present also as an employer offering a number of vacant positions, from doctoral to postdoctoral. Ever since our postdoctorand Domagoj Tolic left to Dubrovnik, LARICS is offering a free postdoctoral position at the project ADORE. Therefore, Prof. Zdenko Kovacic and Dr. Damjan Miklić took part in the FER Job Fair and at the FER’s stand presented the ADORE project to the interested parties and distributed leaflets hoping to attract the right person for the project.
LARICS also co-organized an open door event during Job Fair alongside Laboratory for Underwater Systems and Technologies (LABUST) and the Laboratory for Autonomous Systems and Mobile Robots (LAMOR) as part of the firstname.lastname@example.org brand.
LARICS received a grant from Ford Motor Company for a 3-year project Advanced evolutionary learning based methods for optimal characterisation of non-linear aftertreatment technologies (ADELE) whose main focus of research will be on LNT (Lean NOx Trap) models. The task is to establish methods and algorithms for optimal transfer of the measured data into the existing models or identify the need for specific model features that need to be added or enhanced in order to improve the model prediction quality. Funding is provided through the FORD Global University Research Programs (URP). Edin Koco and Goran Vasiljevic form a core of the LARICS research team together with the LARICS PhD student Slaven Glumac. The partner in the project is Ford Research Center Aachen represented by LARICS alumni Dr. Mario Balenovic.
LARICS researcher Edin Koco spent one month in India with Croatian company HRID d.o.o. He was involved in inspection tasks of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) in Kudankulam nuclear power plant located in south India. Collaboration between LARICS and HRID resulted in development of software package FIONA for controlling the reactor inspection system. The software visualizes the RPV and inspection system in 3D and allows remote control for secure navigation of the inspection system and ensures collision free scan trajectory generation. During his visit to India Edin provided software support during the inspection process for any unexpected problems that arose during the inspection.
Zdenko Kovacic and Stjepan Bogdan attended the American Control Conference ACC 2015 that was held on July 1–3, 2015, in the downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA. On June 30th, Zdenko and Stjepan took part in the Workshop on Recent Advances and Future Directions on Adaptation and Control dedicated to celebration of Frank Lewis’ birthday. They presented recent LARICS research results in the areas of multi-agent systems with unreliable communication and decentralized control of autonomous forklifts in industrial warehouse systems.
Zdenko Kovacic and Goran Vasiljevic attended the EC-SAFEMOBIL 7th Consortium Meeting that was held on June 17–18, 2015, in Seville, Spain. They gave the report on the latest results on precise localisation and distributed control of multiple LGVs, two main goals of the Scenario 4: Autonomous Distributed Warehousing. On their way home, they stopped shortly in Lisbon, Portugal and enjoyed sightseeing in this beautiful European metropole.
CANape is an all-round tool for Electronic Control Unit (ECU) calibration. With CANape, one can solve all necessary tasks in this field – from functional development of the software to rapid prototyping solutions and the production-ready ECU. This tool can be useful at the work desk, on the test bench or on test drives. It can be also used in data logging, parameter calibration, ECU and vehicle diagnostics or verification and visualization of object recognition algorithms for driver assistance systems. As a result of the presentation about CANape held on FER on May 21, Vector Informatik, the distributor of CANape SW, decided to donate one CANape user license to researchers on FER. CANape is installed and maintained in LARICS (interested parties should contact Goran Vasiljevic).
Kick-off meeting of the subCULTron project, which is a part of the H2020-FET-PROACTIVE initiative, was held on 26th and 27th of May in Pontedera, Italy. Project partners from Italy, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, and France gathered to share knowledge and ideas, and decide on the next actions.
The project aims for achieving long-term autonomy in a learning, self-regulating, self-sustaining underwater society/culture of robots in a high-impact application area of Venice Lagoon, Italy. Partners aim to build a heterogeneous system that consists of 3 different agent types:
- artificial mussels (on the sea-ground) with minimal movement capabilities, which act as the collective long-term memory of the system and monitor the natural habitat, including biological agents like algae, bacterial incrustation and fish
- artificial lily pads (on the water surface), which interface with the human society, delivering energy and information influx from ship traffic or satellite data
- artificial fish (Between the two layers), which move/monitor/explore the environment and exchange info with the mussels and lily pads.
The project aims to push forward the edge of knowledge with novel sensors (electric sense/electro-communication), novel bio-inspired algorithms (underwater hives) and novel energy harvesting in underwater scenarios.
As a member of BladeHunters team LARICS entered Stage II of EuRoC Challenge 3: Plant Servicing and Inspection. Project ‘Wind generator remote inspection system’ will start in August 2015. The project proposes an autonomous visual inspection system which will enable inspection experts, untrained in piloting micro aerial vehicles (MAVs), to tele‐operate them as an aid to their mission, while focusing on the inspection task at hand. The inspection task we propose to solve is visual inspection of wind turbines while in operation, a highly complex task which calls for new theoretical and practical paradigms. Existing inspection methods are slow and costly, and the wind turbine must be out of service and stopped while inspected, leading to unavailability and causing significant loss of electricity production and income.
Partners on the project are University of Dubrovnik and DIAGNOSTIQA CONSULTORIA TECNICA S.L.
Project ‘Human-in-the-loop Control of Multi-agent Aerial Systems Under Intermittent Communication’ was successfully completed on 28.02.2015. The project, funded by Air Force Office of Scientific Research, achieved all planned goals – results of 2 years of research have been published in more than 20 conference and journal papers.
As a part of bilateral research project “Coordination Control of Multi-Agent Systems”, jointly funded by Croatian and Chinese governments, Prof. Han Fu Chen and Prof. Yanlong Zhao visited LARICS and our Faculty. During their stay in Zagreb, our Chinese guests gave two lectures, had a meeting with Dean, attended Matko’s PhD thesis defense and participated in presentations on current research activities in ACROSS center.
Professor Zdenko Kovacic and Frano Petric went to Düsseldorf to present ADORE project on the REHACARE fair. We would like to thank Miroslav Vrankic from University of Rijeka, founder and CEO of E-GLAS, for the invitation to join him at the fair. Professor Kovacic used this opportunity to talk with Miroslav about possible use of the speech processing part of their Serwantess software in our ADORE applications.
LARICS team, represented by prof. Stjepan Bogdan, dr. Ivana Palunko, dr. Domagoj Tolić and Tomislav Haus, visited Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, as a part of the project “Coordination Control of Multi-Agent Systems” financed by Croatian and Chinese government. Prof. Bogdan presented LARICS recent research activities and Ivana gave lecture on “Formability of Multi-agent Systems Using Adaptive Parameter-Dependent Potential Functions”. Domagoj presented his research results in the field of “Realistic Information in Control Systems — Intermittent, Delayed and Distorted” and Tomislav gave lecture on “Trust Based Self-Organizing Network Control”. Team used their spare time to visit famous Beijing hutongs, The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China.
We would like to thank our Chinese hosts prof. Ji-Feng Zhang, prof. Han-Fu Chen, prof. Yanlong Zhao and their young researchers for friendly and generous reception. We are looking forward to seeing them soon in Zagreb.
The kickoff meeting for ADORE was held today at FER. The project logo has been inaugurated and organizational topics have been discussed. Team members are optimistic and eager to get to work!
ADORE: Autism Diagnostic Observation with Robot Evaluator project funded by Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ-93743-2014) started today, with the signing of the contract between LARICS and HRZZ. The main goal of the project is to help clinicians from the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences diagnose autism spectrum disorders more quickly and efficiently by using robots from Aldebaran Robotics. Through this project LARICS team will be working on developing a new set of motoric and cognitive skills for our humanoid robots.
LARICS team (prof. Stjepan Bogdan, Matko Orsag, Tomislav Haus, master students Antun Ivanović and Marko Car) spent few days in a military base in Split to perform experiments within the joint national LARICS-LABUST project “Cooperative control of heterogeneous robotic systems”. Those were the first outdoor experiments for the LARICS UAV team. Arducopter quadrotor was used to track LABUST unmanned surface vehicle (USV) called PlaDyPos. Several experiments in semi-autonomous mode have been conducted and valuable insights gained in quadrotor control under realistic conditions such as wind gusts.